The Gujarat government will conduct groundnut procurement in coordination with the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (Nafed).
Chief Secretary J N Singh said on Monday that there have been no differences with the central procurement agency and that the groundnut procurement will be a joint effort.
Notably, Nafed Managing Director Sanjeev Kumar Chadha was in Gandhinagar on Monday to meet top government officials. Nafed has agreed to undertake procurement in coordination with State. The State’s finance department has already provided a revolving fund for the immediate requirement. We will ensure that farmers get their payment within a week's time, said Singh.
Earlier, differences had surfaced after Nafed refused to procure groundnut and other agriculture crops citing inadequate infrastructure with the State agencies. Nafed's concerns came after last year’s reports of irregularities and malpractices at groundnut warehouses.
MSP driven down
Already, huge quantities of groundnut have started arriving at the markets across the State. This pulled down the prices below the minimum support prices (MSP), necessitating procurement measures.
According to State estimates, kharif groundnut crop for the year 2018-19 is likely to be close to 27 lakh tonnes, lesser than the 32 lakh tonnes recorded last year. The market prices have already dipped below MSP of Rs.4,890 per quintal thereby prompting the State to announce procurement under the price support scheme (PSS).
The Gujarat government has announced a bonus of Rs.110 per quintal over-and-above MSP, making the effective procurement price Rs.5,000 per quintal. The market prices hovered in the range of Rs.4,360-4,500 per quintal.
As per the latest data, so far 8700 tonnes of groundnut worth Rs.43 crore has been procured from over 3700 farmers in the State.
Source: The Hindu Businessline